By Rabbi Berach Steinfeld
I normally do not write political columns. In light of current events; both in the parsha and in our community, we will discuss this sensitive topic. The medrash tells us that three people were part of the discussion when Pharaoh wanted to enslave the Jews. They were Bilaam, Yisro and Iyov. B
I saw an explanation in a sefer that brings down different vertlach beshem the
Pharaoh had a brilliant technique to cause Klal Yisroel to become enslaved. He spoke to them “B’feh rach-“ in a soft manner and even showed that he himself was ready to work. He showed them that his concern was only for the benefit of Klal Yisroel. The Brisker Rov said it is important that we learn from this for the future. Even if reshaim tell us that they are doing something for our benefit, we need to stay away from them and show that they are our enemies when it comes to our spiritual welfare. We must be careful not to fall into the trap of accepting their overtures of kindness because the result may end up with our being enslaved.
We are currently dealing with the issue of the NYS education commissioner who is allegedly saying that she is setting these new educational guidelines for the benefit of our children. We must scream in protest and know that this is a terrible decree. If something hurts, we scream. We cannot stay silent at this crucial time. The Education Department needs to hear from the entire Jewish community that they should not be instituting these new guidelines.